Search results for 'search'

febsearch@weirdos.com

1 Mar

Image via Wikipedia

If you are new here, from time to time I share some of the searches people type in that lead them to my blog.

I have decided to do the search posts monthly, so they will be shorter.  I hope regular readers don’t mind?  I know the irregular readers won’t.

I’m Afraid To Ask

  • children punk poo
  • ugly brown cartoons
  • i’ve got a dig bickt

Unnecessary Apostrophes, Perhaps?

  • things that come in two’s’

Would Like To Meet

  • ladybirds runcorn 1976
  • mean dog poker
  • cute single girls in runcorn
  • adorable pyjamas women
  • julia roberts armpits
  • julia roberts wrinkles
  • 9 gag grandpa
  • housewide laughing
  • president donkey

Would Not Like To Meet

  • dead dog laughing in the cloud
  • wife butchering cartoon

A Couple Of Oxymorons

  • funny mathematician jokes
  • man with maltesers in mouth*

*Not in this house, while I’ve still got breath in my body.  He is permitted to buy them only.

The Weirdest Search Of All

Over six HUNDRED people came to my blog during February, in search of the letter a.

Compare that to the number of people – 11 – who found my blog by Googling The Laughing Housewife; or, on no less than four occasions, The Laughibg Housewife; and even one hose wife.

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The Searchers

27 Sep
Champion axeman Charlie Winkle competing in a ...

Image by State Library of Queensland, Australia via Flickr

Some of the searches that found me:

  • the laughing ousewife – someone with a strong northern accent, obviously
  • Oday is a good day to diet – the eighth day of the week, thankfully
  • my husband is a criminal – !
  • I love being a housewife poem – as opposed to being a housewife essay…? 
  • poems about bottle caps – !!
  • brown housewife – this one is simply bizarre; I don’t get it
  • only as old as the woman I fee – sorry, sir; this is not that sort of website…
  • and my personal favourite: only as old as the woman I fell – I’m taking odds on whether it was written by a rugby player or a lumberjack

Trapped Wind Or Not Trapped Wind? That Is The Question

5 Dec

Image result for funny nhs memesIf there was no NHS, it’s not an exaggeration to say that I’d be writing this in heaven right now. Okay, maybe there’s a little exaggeration – as far as I know, heaven doesn’t have wi-fi.

I was lying in bed reading, three weeks ago tonight, when I had sharp chest pain on the left side. I did wonder for a moment, ‘Am I having a heart attack?’ but it soon passed and because there had been nothing weird about my arm, and no nausea or sweating, I realised it was trapped wind.

Over the following days I had some small sharp wind attacks but nothing like the first. Six days later, on a Tuesday morning, I was standing chatting to my friend Pam and I had another painful experience like the first, accompanied by a hot flush and then a cold sweat, and nausea. At the hot flush (menopause, obviously), I stepped outside into the rain to cool down, which explained the cold sweat. The nausea? Well, I had been thinking about housework.

I explained the horrible trapped wind situation to Pam and she urged me to get checked out, thinking of chest infections and pneumonia. That seemed a bit over the top for excess gas but, as it happened, I was booked in for a blood test for my cholesterol level at my doctor’s surgery the following morning. I did some research about chest pain that evening and every single website urged, ‘Tell a doctor!’

I didn’t really want to waste anyone’s time but I couldn’t get the website messages out of my head but, as I was there, I mentioned the chest pain to the nurse, who insisted that I ask to see the on-call doctor, who saw me within fifteen minutes and immediately referred me to the hospital as a precaution (I presented with conflicting symptoms), bypassing A&E and booking me directly into the Acute Care Unit at Stepping Hill Hospital.

The Hub ran me up to the hospital and I was quickly tested and blooded. The ECG showed ‘small anomalies’ and one blood test was ‘inconclusive’. I was re-tested and re-blooded and sent for a chest x-ray.

There was some waiting around, yes, but mostly for test results, all of which came back within an hour. The doctor suspected there was a blood clot on my lung (pulmonary embolism). A nurse injected me (painfully) with blood thinner (to dissolve any possible clots) in my stomach (I still have a bruise, two weeks later), and gave me one to take home to use the next day. I could not for the literal life of me inject myself but the Hub could and did, and that’s why I found myself screaming at him, unNike-like, ‘Just do it!’ when he was murmuring softly that ‘This is going to hurt, I’m afraid, sweetie.’Image result for pulmonary embolism funny

It didn’t hurt, despite the roll of fat he pinched firmly, as instructed. He jabbed instead of glided and there was very little pain and no bruising at all. Professional Nurse: 0, The Hub: 1, as far as he’s concerned. I reckon he stuck it into so much fat, it’s still floating around, lost without a clot to hiss in.

The hospital had me back on Friday for a V/Q scan, which is when gamma radiation is injected into the body to examine airflow and blood flow in the lungs. Yes, I was radioactive for a while there, and it had nothing to do with the Hub annoying me. After lunch (provided free of charge, both days), I had an echocardiogram – an ultrasound for the heart. That was ay-may-zing, to see my heart on telly, as it was beating in my chest. Wow, Just wow. I love science!

The result of all of this outstanding care is that I definitely have a pulmonary embolism – the pains in my chest were clot moving days – but our fabulous NHS caught it in time and I’m not going to die just yet (buses and absent-mindedness notwithstanding). Nor am I going to be bankrupted for the pleasure of not dying. I am being treated with medication and I have some follow-up appointments but, basically, it’s life as normal, and the bank balance is lighter only by the cost of a medic alert bracelet (if you cut me, do I not bleed copiously and have to be extra careful from now on?).

I have a wonderful husband who was there with me every step of the way (though he does like to needle me), despite his own ill-health. I made him stay home on the Friday, however, because he can just sit there, waiting (his M.E. allowing him to do little else), and I simply can’t. My Kindle felt unloved on Wednesday, when I was forced to talk to the Hub in the waiting room instead of reading; but was happy on Friday, as we idled away the time together between tests.

Our NHS isn’t perfect in everyday life – it can take weeks to get a non-urgent appointment – but in an emergency, there’s no better health care provider, and I have the breath in my lungs to prove it.

And finally…For several days afterwards, this song kept going through my head:

The Value Of A Good Blog Title

12 Sep

This is a slightly edited repost from 2013, but I’m out of ideas so I thought I’d share it again.  It contains some good advice for new bloggers.

Let’s start with a poem I wrote some years ago:

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The Thing About Poetry IsEnglish: Groucho Marx & anonymous blogging

Titles
are
vital

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The same is true of blog posts.  Titles are vital to lure unsuspecting readers to your blog, where you will dazzle them with your wit and wisdom and encourage them to waste time they could have used for eating, watching TV, and sitting on the couch.

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How Not To Write A Post Title

From my blog:

  • Joke 648

Unless you are looking for 648 jokes, it’s rather dull.  However, it does tell you exactly what you will find: a joke; the 648th joke in a long line of jokes.

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Be Specific

  • The Value Of A Good Blog Title 

is not particularly interesting but it will attract people looking to improve their blogging.  I know this because

  • Seven Tips For New Bloggers 

still attracts readers, years after being posted.  List titles like this are also popular, for reasons I’m sure psychologists could tell you, though I can’t.  

A word of caution, however: don’t be tempted to make it 147 Tips For New Bloggers, because nobody’s attention span is that long.  I know this from experience.

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Be Topical

  • It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Posted in December, it’s seasonal and likely to attract Christmas fanatics like me. In November, it makes me the blogger who’s ahead of the game; in June, it makes me quirky and will, hopefully, make the reader curious.  But beware: posted in January, it’s the blogging equivalent of the guest who won’t leave when the party’s over.

Sometimes, being topical leads to dumb luck:

  • Some Snow Facts

A fun factual post a year earlier led to my best-ever day – 4,720 hits – when Google Doodle celebrated the 125th anniversary of the discovery of the World’s Largest Snowflake.  I’d have been happier if just one of those people looking for the Google Doodle had left a comment but, hey, I’m not one to look a gift spike in the mouth.

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Reference Popular Culture

Here are some posts of mine which still receive hits:

  • Twilight: I Hope Bella Remembered To Shave
  • Seven Of Nine, And Not In A Good Way
  • Robert Pattinson With Small Hairs

Being up to date with the news helps:

  • What Really Happened To Gaddafi

brought in hundreds of people who thought a housewife in Stockport could tell them what 24-hour news channels and thousands of dedicated reporters could not.

Adding the word ‘Review’ to a title is another good way to attract readers. However:

  1. It irritates them if you use the word ‘Review’ and then don’t review whatever it is you claim to be reviewing.  I know this from experience.
  2. Reviewing books and movies four years after they’ve been released is unlikely to make your post a bestseller (I was surprised to discover).

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Use Keywords And Phrases

Here are some posts that still receive hits.  One was written six years ago:

  • You’re Only As Old As The Woman You Feel – old jokes and clichéd phrases are popular searches as ageing people begin to lose their memories (I know this from experience).
  • Smile And The World Smiles With You – the word ‘smile’ is the top search that finds this blog, with over 10,000 visits.
  • A Is For ‘Arguments’ – the key word here is ‘A’.  Bizarrely, the letter ‘a’ comes in at Number 7 on my search list, with 1,044 hits.

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Sweaty Armpits

Sweaty Armpits (Photo credit: mricon)

Have Fun!

After all, if you’re not trying to change the world, it doesn’t matter who reads your blog so long as you are enjoying yourself.  

Here are some of my favourite titles from posts that I have written:

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  • Famous With Sweaty Armpits  
  • Okay, Tesco: I Forgive You
  • So Many Jokes, So Little Class   I like this one for its searing honesty.
  • If I Break Wind, I’ll Write About It  The previous title refers.
  • I Have To Kill My Kindle
  • Love Many, Trust Few And A Canoe
  • I’m Three Mugs Of Tea Away From Becoming A Feminist
  • It’s Time To Give Up Food   I like this one for its absurd premise.
  • Ten Don’ts For When I’m Dead  Another list post.
  • Bring In Arms Fat Mummy
  • Hula Hoops. Very Proud Of The Queen.   I can’t claim credit for this one as it was from a comment by another blogger.
  • Vasectomy Dog And A Frog Disease Called Awesome
  • Camping: The Art Of Staying Wet Indoors
  • Flying To Spain In A Manky Cardi
  • A Labled Easy To Follow Leg
  • Sandra Bullock Has A Sex Change And Retires To Norfolk

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A Final Tip

Related to blogging but not to titles in particular: ask an open-ended question. A question as title will pull in the curious and the opinionated (I know this from experience).  You don’t have to use it as a title, however; you can use it as a closing sentence.  It never fails (I know this from experience).

What are your blogging tips?

Good News, Bad News

14 Jun

Bad News

The Manchester date of The Iconoclasts tour is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.  

Good News

I can stop nagging my friends and family to buy tickets to support them.

Good News

Which is bad news for you if you live in London, Nottingham or Bristol – the other dates are still on:

18th and 19th June @ Camden People’s Theatre LONDON, 20.00 – 21.15
Tickets: https://www.cptheatre.co.uk/production/the-iconoclasts/

21st June @ STUFF NOTTINGHAM
http://newtheatre.org.uk/stuff/

26th June @ Alma Tavern & Theatre BRISTOL, 19:30 – 20:45
Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-iconoclasts-the-alma-tav

Image may contain: 4 people, text

Good News

My choir is staging a concert on Friday, with songs from the musicals.

Bad News

I can nag my friends and family to support us.


Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text

Bad News

You visit this blog, expect to be hounded.

Good News

Buy a ticket and watch my colour change from red to less red as my hot flushes [desperately searches for a singing pun] [gives up] [if you can think of a good singing pun, you know where the comment box is] come and go at random.

Or, as Home’s Cool, one of my American readers so memorably put it, watch me as I flash in church.

 

Birthday Boy

18 Apr

Twenty-seven years ago today, I was given a little gift:

I loved this gift.  I played with it and dressed it and took it with me everywhere.  And then one day I lost it (I hate Lancaster University; anywhere he’s ever lived; any job he’s ever had).

But then, my gift returned one day, bearing another gift:


So I forgave my gift for having a life of its own without me, and was just glad that it had doubled in size.

Happy birthday, darling!  Did you know that you share your birthday with some illustrious people, including:

  • Lucretia Borgia (alleged poisoner) (hey, there weren’t that many careers available to 15th Century women)
  • Bernard Ogilvie Dodge (American botanist and pioneer researcher on heredity in fungi) (no joke required; his job says it all)
  • Clara Eggink (Dutch poetess) (…?)
  • George Huntington Hartford II (American heir) (seriously, who wants to be famous for being an heir – Prince William excepted, of course?  I’d rather be famous for being an alleged poisoner; at least I’d be making my own way in the world) (though I wouldn’t object to being an unfamous heir)
  • Lenny Baker (rocker with Sha Na Na) (well that’s just embarrassing) (though he is saved by the fact he was in Grease) (and he is often mistaken for Kenny Baker – being mistaken for a midget android with a cute voice has to be a step up, surely?)
  • Herbert Mullin (American serial killer) (some mothers do ‘ave ’em) (not this mother, of course) (right?)
  • Bernadette Robi (ex-wife of football player Lynn Swann) (yes, well…almost as worthy as being born an heir)
  • Thankfully, the list is saved by the great David Tennant (my child has a Doctor Who connection!!  He is now officially my favourite child)
  • Kourtney Kardashian (and he’s back off the favourite child list) (happy birthday, anyway, sweetie pie xxx) (love you)

Author’s Note:

The favourite child thing is just a joke: mothers don’t have favourite children.

But grandmothers do.

Now I Get It

8 Feb

Before I begin, let me just say that this is the first time I’ve used the new-look New Post feature and I HATE it.  It’s all white space and missing or moved buttons.  Wassup with that, WordPress?

I’m in a bad mood.  I have discovered the point of philosophy, a question which has puzzled me since the summer of 2003.  That was the first year of my Open University degree.  I attended summer school in Manchester – seven minutes away from my house by train; and I chose it for just that reason, having a sick husband and two young children at home.  Plus, I was a wimp in those days. Travel alone in such a lawless country as Britain?  Forget it.

It was a glorious summer (the sun always shines on happy memories) and I had a blast, spending all of my time in lectures and learning, singing in the choir that was composed of almost the whole cohort of students, and playing Medea’s daughter in an amusing stage parody.   I was disappointed not to get two weeks, à la Educating Rita, but loved any break from my adorable family.

I attended a lecture on the piece of music which was the subject of my next assignment and it was so good, all I had to do was transcribe my notes into coherent sentences, giving me one of my best marks that year.  It’s not cheating if you’re just paying attention in class.

Music was not my best subject but Philosophy was definitely my worst.  I just did not get it.  I remember sitting in a tutorial that summer and asking, What is the point of philosophy?  The tutor looked startled and then annoyed, and he didn’t have an answer.  I rest my case.

I wish he was here now, because today I learned the answer: philosophy exists to enable desperate poets to cope with the vagaries of Microsoft.

My Word stopped working.  I don’t know why.  I don’t know what version it is.  I don’t know why I didn’t read the dialogue box that came up every day for a week or more which probably would have told me.  But that doesn’t matter because of course it’s Microsoft’s fault: it is the creator, and we always blame the creator when things go wrong.  That’s my philosophy.

I haven’t been around the blogosphere much because I’m nearing the end of phase three of my second poetry collection: the editing process.  The editing process is my favourite part: the research has been done; the poems have been drafted from thin air; I don’t yet have to brutally cut some of my favourite babies, or put out for a publisher.  All I have to do is neaten, tidy and completely re-write until I’m sort of but not quite satisfied with the work that’s already done.

I edit, therefore I am happy.

I type, therefore I am busy.

I think, therefore I am using the education the Open University gave me.

I stay at my computer, therefore the Hub doesn’t have to see me.

I lose Word and my life falls apart: what am I supposed to do with my time if I can’t edit poems?  I might have to talk more to the Hub [shudder].  What if the world never gets to read my genius because Word owns me?  

Tain’t right; tain’t fitting; tain’t proper (how I miss you, Ross Poldark; please come back to my TV and be gorgeous again).

I may just be losing it…it’s only been thirty minutes since Word said Get lost and I’m babbling like a woman who just lost her Word.

On the plus side, I now have time to read your blogs.  

Sidebar: the architecture block of the 2003 course was fascinating but the only thing I remember is how to identify columns.  To this day, I have a weird finger thing I do to remind myself of whether a column is Doric, Ionic or Corinthian. Identifying a type of Classical architecture is a totally useless skill for me to have but I love that I can do it.

What’s your useless skill?  

A Poem to Mourn a Great Loss

I miss Word.
Word has gone.
How will my work be done?
I’m editless; I’m numb.
This poem is the sum of my madness.
Return, Word, and all will be gladness.  

Now you see how good a poet I am, you’ll understand why I’m going crazy here.

Donate Your Hair To Children With Cancer

22 Mar

DSCN2651

If you have long hair like mine was, and decide to cut it, you can send it off to a charity in the UK called Little Princess.  They make wigs for children who have lost their hair through cancer.  A quick Google search found similar charities in other countries.  Please think about doing it if you’re going short; you need a minimum of 7″/17cm and all it costs is a padded envelope and postage.

My hair was long but thin, so my plait was pretty feeble; but every little helps.

When the Hub posted it off, the clerk asked if there was anything valuable in the packet.  The Hub explained what was in it and she winked and said, Aw, that’s nice.  Are you going to do the same with your beard?

I think he should; I heard their office needs re-wiring.

IMG_3229

My Left Arm: The Story Of Crusty Scabs

27 Feb

You may recall I took a flying visit to the pavement some weeks ago.  My left arm bore the brunt of the impact but it’s on the mend.  The scabs have almost gone and would have been gone long ago if I’d stopped leaning on the Hub’s face with my elbow.

Although it still hurts to stretch too high or too quickly – – – sorry, short break for hysterical laughter while I corpse at the thought of me exercising  – – – it is fully functioning.  That’s why I thought I’d be okay to give blood from it on Monday [the Hub interjected with something about getting blood from a stone-hearted…butenoughfromthegallery].

I don’t have a favourite arm (does anyone?).  I have great veins, according to many nurses, and they can siphon it from either side, so I didn’t think twice when I sat in a left-handed chair (this post is beginning to seem weird even to me); and maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference but my left arm was not happy with the way the Blood New Donation Executive – BloNDE for short though, in actual fact, she was a BruNeETTE: Brutal New Executive Trying To Extract.

I’m not sure she was new, if I’m honest, but it’s the only explanation I can think of for the way in which she hacked at my left arm with the needle, came back several times to wiggle it about, and smiled nicely at me in the most terrifying way.

The blood eventually seeped out, reluctant though it was.  I don’t understand it because I’ve donated blood at least nineteen times and never had a problem. This time, the area around my elbow was tight and ached and my left hand went extremely cold.  I was told to report it if it still hurt after my orange juice and Club biscuit (two Club biscuits…I was feeling quite sorry for myself) which it was, so I did.

Boy, was I sorry.  Yes, I was.  They sent me to the nurse.  It was like being back at school, except I didn’t come away with a cloth brick and two safety pins at the end of it.

Forty minutes to go through my story, check for bruising, explain possible forthcoming symptoms, explain what to do in the case of possible forthcoming symptoms, explain what is on the other leaflet instead of the bruising leaflet which was all she had to hand but most of the possible forthcoming symptoms were the same on the one leaflet as the other and the advice anyway was to immediately phone this number and ask for advice about those possible forthcoming symptoms if I showed any of those possible forthcoming symptoms.

I didn’t have any forthcoming symptoms and I told the nurse as much when she phoned next day to check on me.  They really want you to go back and give more blood, you know.  Something about ‘saving lives’ and ‘helping research’. I’m not sure what exactly; I couldn’t hear her over the lump on my left arm.

The lump had almost disappeared by Wednesday evening and the ache had long gone, so I didn’t consider missing last night’s First Aid class.  My church applied for funding to provide this sort of education to the community and I thought it would be useful to attend, especially as it was free (I may be a Christian but I’m not made of money): if I ever deck a ReDHEAD (Really Doesn’t Have to Ever Ask DoesthiswhoppinggreatneedlethatI’mstabbingyouwithhurt?), it would be good to be able to revive her again.

The trainer was very funny and had us all singing Nellie the Elephant: half of the chorus sung twice amounts to thirty chest compressions.  First Aid has changed a lot since I took a course twenty-five years ago.  No more three breaths good/five compressions better; now it’s all assume-if-it’s-a-stranger-they-have-Hepatitis-and-don’t-give-mouth-to-mouth-unless-he’s-particularly-good-looking (though I might just have added that list bit to my notes without hearing it from the instructor first).

CPR was harder to do than I expected, especially the breathing; but I aced Burns – no butter!  No bandages!  No hot water! (how my mother once treated my sunburn).  Dealing with choking was easy enough to do on small dummies; however, I was the class dummy when it came to adults – bottom of a class of seventeen people.

The trainer put on a harness thing which had a large pad to protect her back when we whacked her – five times, having first bent her over our arms – and a simulated choking throat on her front (sponge in a bottle).  The idea was to stand behind her, make a fist and thrust up around the area of the diaphragm, five times; then go back to five whacks and so on.  Some people managed to expel the sponge fairly quickly, especially the men, who were stronger; but plenty of the women did it too.

I had a little trouble.  I have no strength at all and, although the spirit is willing, the flesh is as weak as one of my puns.  I grasped her from behind and looked for all the world like an enthusiastic Goldilocks desperately humping poor Papa Bear, and having as much success.

Jo is an excellent trainer and wanted to ensure that everyone went away knowing they could do this, so I kept at it until she’d have been long dead in real life – but I got that sucker out in the end!  Thank you, Jo.

Which brings me back to my left arm – nobody tells you that saving people’s lives is difficult.  Okay, perhaps they shouldn’t have to tell you that, it’s kind of obvious when you think about it, or doctors wouldn’t train for so many years so they could be sued for their BMWs;  but I hadn’t expected it to be so physical, and I could barely use my left arm last night.  Instead of using my left hand, I had to rest my right hand on my hypochondriacal damp brow.

I’m not sure I’ll bother using the skills I’ve learned (it’s not like I paid for them); it seems like so much hard work.  It might be okay for someone who I quite like, such as my children; but what if it’s an MP, or a telesales person, or the Hub? My arm really hurts as a result of all that being noble and brave guff.  I’d give my left arm for it not to be aching right now.

Snippets

18 Feb

Looking for poetic inspiration, I’ve been trawling my old notebooks.  I found some fun stuff which I’d like to share; but don’t worry – there’s not a poem in sight.  Let me worry about that.

From 2008:

Alec the paperboy passed the house as I opened the door.  I waved to him.  

Spud, 12, to Alec: ‘I’m sorry about my Mum; she’s a weirdo.’

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Some neologisms of mine (you may recognise a couple but I share them again in the hope of one day having an entry in the Oxford Dictionary):

  • Smail: newsy email.  Obsolete now I have a blog.
  • Techneptitude: technical ineptitude of the highest order (my special gift).  I got a published poem out of this one.
  • Suburbani: modern wage slaves.  Another poem, sadly unpublished, even though it has a pretty font.
  • Weepiknees: crying, with trembling legs.  I inadvertently predicted my Toby Tale with this one.

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From The Sunday Telegraph supplement, Seven, 11/05/08:

Anxiety: fear in search of a cause.

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A Re-run

I’m sure I’ve shared this before but I find it so amusing, I have to tell it again.

There was a South African politician called Ferdi Hartzenberg; and a South African newsreader who shall remain nameless.

Journalists had a nickname  for Mr H and this particular journalist once, live on television, accidentally used it: Herdi Farts ‘n’ Burps.

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If you like your politicians mocked, head over to Edwina Currie Made Me Start This Blog, my newest blog.  You’ll find more from my old notebooks.

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More Kindness From Stockport Strangers

1 Feb

Image from joyreactor.com

When I left you yesterday I was bumped, scraped, shaking and crying like a tumbled toddler; and Toby was haring down to the business park off the slip road, having avoided every vehicle on an incredibly busy intersection.  I use the word ‘haring’ deliberately – one helpful stranger said that when she first saw him, he was running so fast, she thought he was a rabbit.  If we ever catch him, we’re thinking of entering him into greyhound races as the mechanical hare.

I didn’t know what to do.  A cyclist and several motorists had all stopped to tell me that they’d go after him.  I didn’t know whether to wait where I was for them to come back, or follow my dog…my dogs!  I had two dogs, one of whom I’d recklessly abandoned to chase the other.  I phoned Pam, my walking companion, and she reassured me that she had Molly safe.  We arranged a meeting place so that I could give her my house keys and she could take Molly home via our usual walk, on the off-chance that Toby had run that way.

I think Pam managed to grasp my instructions between my dry heaves and gasps, because she found me, took my keys and gave me the lead.  She carried Molly all the way home because Molly, having been carried so far, refused to walk.  Molly was born to be a handbag dog.  Her only regret in having me as her darling is that my main ambition in life is to have a handbag so empty, pockets will suffice (yes, I am a woman.  I’ve been tested).

Image from mchumour.com

What happened next is a bit of a blur.  I know people stopped to ask if I was okay; to offer help/lifts/comfort; to tell me they’d seen my dog – a big husky, right?  All of these drivers pulled over in rush hour traffic to help a complete stranger in obvious distress.  There was a fireman, a businessman, truckers and more.

At some point, a man who works for one of Stockport Council’s service providers told me to get in his truck and he and his mate would take me to where they had last seen Toby.  His mate was apologetic but adamant that I couldn’t get in because of insurance issues.  No problem, said the first man; he’d walk me down and his mate would follow.  I went with him but I don’t remember getting from one side of the intersection to the other.  I think I was a little dazed.

The kind man then got back in his truck and went off in search of my dog.  I walked in the same direction, calling Toby, still crying and shaking but thinking, somewhere deep in the bowels of my mind, I hope I haven’t put holes in the knees of these pants.  I love them and I’ve only had them a month.  It’s all about the priorities with me.

A blue van appeared and a nice man invited me to get in.  I did.  I can’t believe how easily I was prepared to drive off with total strangers.  I can’t believe how the media have lied to me all these years – no one molested me in any way and every one just wanted to help.  The man took me round the back of the business park, where a man out of a white van told me a bunch of people had tried to catch Toby but he had run off round the back of the buildings and they had all gone after him, some in their cars, some on foot.

He suggested I go one way and he go another, in a circle to try and head him off. He pointed to a woman slowing down in her white van (this was a business area; white vans are de rigeur in business areas) and told me she had trailed my dog.  As I was chatting to her – mostly me saying, ‘Thankyousomucheveryonehasbeensokind’ between sobs and over her as she tried to tell me what had happened, the white van man shouted, ‘There he is!’

Toby was running towards me!  He must have run all the way around the fairly large business park.  I ran towards him, shouting his name, so of course he turned-tail and ran off in the opposite direction.

Desperation focused my mind at last: I yelled, ‘Where’s Hub?  Where’s Hub?’ The Hub is the love of Toby’s life (and vice-versa): he slowed down; he turned; he hesitated; and then reluctantly headed in my direction, not entirely sure he could trust the woman yelling his beloved’s name.

Then he realised it was me.  Not for Toby an enthusiastic gallop into my arms – he turned his back to me, which is his way of saying, Pick me up, please.  

And I did.

I Told A Joke A Day For A 1001 Days

19 Dec

…And then some!

When I set myself the challenge of telling you a joke a day for 1001 days, I’m not sure that I believed I could do it.  It seemed like a fun challenge but I can’t say I had a burning desire to complete it.  However, I plodded on; sometimes staying up late with a couple of matchsticks and glowing screen; sometimes scheduling them a week in advance.   Occasionally, because of computer or internet problems, I posted late…but I never missed a day!

I told puns and one-liners and shaggy dog stories.  I shared lists and cartoons.  I lifted stories from news sites, comedians, the telly, and other blogs.  I told jokes so bad, I had to give you another dozen to disguise them.  And I never missed a day.

When I was stuck for a topic, I looked around the room until something caught my eye, then I Googled it: jokes about computers; jokes about dogs; jokes about chairs.  I once shared this habit with you and I was challenged to find a joke about orange.  I found a hundred.  I have to say, I’m probably Google’s biggest fan.

Some of you love the jokes; some of you never read them.  I found it arduous at times to come up with something, but I kept on going for the diehards who wanted their joke for the day.  Thank you for making me post a joke a day.

There were times when I was ready to jack it in.  I have been tired and unwell this year and ready to take a break from blogging, but I had to post a joke a day. I plodded on.  Then I hit day 851: the bulk of the challenge was behind me; the end was almost in sight.  I was determined to reach the end.

Animated horse, made by rotoscoping 19th centu...

Animated horse, made by rotoscoping 19th century photos by Eadweard Muybridge. Artistic license has been used to achieve the cartoony look. Animated by J-E Nyström, User:Janke, released under CC-BY-SA-2.5 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And I did!

I have to say it – I’m rather impressed with myself. Telling a joke a day doesn’t sound that difficult, but have you tried to find funny, clean jokes on the internet or elsewhere?  I swear, there isn’t one topic that cannot somehow be made grubby by those with the will to do it.  My eyes dropped and my chin boggled at some of the stuff I was forced to filter on your behalf.

But it was worth it.  Searching for laughter is always worth it.

Sharing the laughter – my reader-approved-by-poll tagline – is what this blog is all about and you helped me, beloved readers: you shared your jokes by email, post and comment; you re-blogged and pinned the best jokes; you tut-tutted at the duff puns and gently/forcefully steered me in the direction you wanted me to take.

Most of all, you laughed.  You commented.  You shared the laughter.

Thank you.  Thank you for your encouragement.  Thank you for your terrible (and sometimes terribly rude) jokes.  Thank you for your hilarious jokes.

Thank you for sharing the laughter.

Now, I’m going to take a month off blogging; and re-group.

And that’s no joke.

I have prepared a couple of end-of-challenge posts, to round things off; but there will be no jokes; no posts; no comments after this week.  

I apologise to new readers but something’s got to give.  I don’t want it to be my sanity.

To soften the blow, I will share my absolute favourite joke from the archive.  I laugh out loud every time I read it.  

A man was dining alone in a fancy restaurant and there was a gorgeous redhead sitting at the next table.  He had been checking her out since he sat down, but lacked the nerve to talk with her.

Suddenly she sneezed, and her glass eye came flying out of its socket towards the man. He reflexively reached out, grabbed it out of the air, and handed it back.

‘Oh my, I am so sorry,’ the woman said, as she popped her eye back in place. ‘Let me buy your dinner to make it up to you.’

They enjoyed a wonderful dinner together, and afterwards they went to the theatre, followed by drinks.  They talked, they laughed, she shared her deepest dreams and he shared his. She listened to him with interest.

After paying for everything, she asked him if he would like to come to her place for a nightcap and stay for breakfast. They had a wonderful, wonderful time.

The next morning, she cooked a gourmet meal with all the trimmings. The guy was amazed. Everything had been so incredible!

‘You know,’ he said, ‘you are the perfect woman.  Are you this nice to every guy you meet?’

‘No,’ she replied.  ‘You just happened to catch my eye.’

Joke 999

17 Dec
Some funny No Parking signs

Some funny No Parking signs (Photo credit: Scoobyfoo)

Driving to work, a gentleman had to swerve to avoid a box that fell out of a truck in front of him.  Seconds later, a policeman pulled him over for reckless driving.  Fortunately, another officer had seen the carton in the road. The policemen stopped traffic and recovered the box. It was found to contain large upholstery nails.

“I’m sorry sir,” the first trooper told the driver, “but I have to arrest you.”

Amazed, the driver asked for what.

The trooper replied, “Tacks evasion.”

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From ahajokes

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From the archive:

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Funny Picture of Nun Religion

Funny Picture of Nun Religion (Photo credit: epSos.de)

You know you are addicted to your computer when… 

· All of your friends have an @ in their names.

· Your dog has its own home page.

· You can’t call your mother; she doesn’t have a modem.

· You wake up at 3 a.m. to go to the bathroom and stop and check your e-mail on the way back to bed.

· You buy a Captain Kirk chair with a built-in keyboard and mouse.

· You get a new suit that says, “This best viewed with Netscape 4.01 or higher.”

· The last girl you asked out was only a jpeg.

· Your wife says communication is important in a marriage…you buy another computer and install a second phone line so the two of you can chat.

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"Deep Thoughts" by Computer Services #4

“Deep Thoughts” by Computer Services #4 (Photo credit: Adam Melancon)

How to Write Good

1. Avoid alliteration. Always.

2. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.

3. Employ the vernacular.

4. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

5. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.

6. Remember to never split an infinitive.

7. Contractions aren’t necessary.

8. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

9. One should never generalize.

10. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”

11. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

12. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.

13. Be more or less specific.

14. Understatement is always best.

15. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

16. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

17. The passive voice is to be avoided.

18. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

19. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

20. Who needs rhetorical questions?

21. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

22. Don’t never use a double negation.

23. capitalize every sentence and remember always end it with point

24. Do not put statements in the negative form.

25. Verbs have to agree with their subjects.

26. Proofread carefully to see if you words out.

27. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.

28. A writer must not shift your point of view.

29. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction. (Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.)

30. Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!

31. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to the irantecedents.

32. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.

33. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.

34. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.

35. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.

36. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.

37. Always pick on the correct idiom.

38. The adverb always follows the verb.

39. Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; They’re old hat; seek viable alternatives.

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Elephant on the computer

Elephant on the computer (Photo credit: HikingArtist.com)

  1. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
  2. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  3. Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good Evening,’ and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.
  4. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
  5. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.
  6. Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, ‘In case of emergency, notify:’ I put ‘DOCTOR.’
  7. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
  8. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
  9. A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.
  10. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You need a parachute only to skydive twice.
  11. There’s a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can’t get away.
  12. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
  13. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
  14. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
  15. Hospitality is making your guests feel at home even when you wish they were.

Joke 992

10 Dec

Researchers for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority found over 200 dead crows near greater Boston recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A Bird Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows and, to everyone’s relief, confirmed the problem was definitely NOT Avian Flu.  The cause of death appeared to be vehicular impacts.

However, during the detailed analysis it was noted that varying colors of paints appeared on the birds’ beaks and claws. By analyzing these paint residues it was determined that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with trucks, while only 2% were killed by an impact with a car.

MTA then hired an Ornithological Behaviorist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of truck kills versus car kills.

The Ornithological Behaviorist very quickly concluded the cause: when crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow in a nearby tree to warn of impending danger. They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout “Cah”, not a single one could shout “Truck.”

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Thanks to Granny1947 for this one.

From the archive:

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My husband uses a kitchen implement to shred garlic and parmesan cheese, both of which I hate.

It really is the grater of two evils.

Five Tips For Women

1. It is important that a man helps you around the house and has a job.

2. It is important that a man makes you laugh.

3. It is important to find a man you can count on and who doesn’t lie to you.

4. It is important that a man loves you and spoils you.

5. It is important that these four men don’t know each other.

Three couples were having tea one day.  The conversation was somewhat desultory so one of the men, trying to get a laugh, said to his wife, “Pass the honey, honey!”  The others laughed.

A moment later, the second man said, “Pass the sugar, sugar!” This got a bigger laugh, so the third man decided to join in the fun.

He waited for the perfect opportunity, cleared his throat and then confidently said, “Pass the tea, bag!”

Joke 985

3 Dec

My nine-year-old daughter walked in while I was getting ready for work. “What are you doing?” she asked.

“Putting on my wrinkle cream,” I answered.

“Oh,” she said, walking away. “I thought they were natural.”
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From Readers Digest

Two more from the archive:

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What do you call a cat that cuts your grass?

A lawn meower.

The Evolution Of Math

1950:
A lumberjack sells a truckload of lumber for $100.  His cost of production is 4/5 of this price. What is his profit?

1960 (traditional math):
A lumberjack sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of this price, or in other words $80. What is his profit?

1970 (new math):
A lumberjack exchanges a set L of lumber for a set M of money.  The cardinality of set M is 100, and each element is worth $1.  Make 100 dots representing the elements of set M.  The set C is a subset of set M, of cardinality 80. What is the cardinality of the set P of profits, if P is the difference set MC?

1980 (equal opportunity math):
A lumberjack sells a truckload of wood for $100. His or her cost of production is $80, and his or her profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

1990 (outcome based education):
By cutting down beautiful forest trees, a lumberperson makes $20. What do you think of his way of making a living?  In your group, discuss how the forest birds and squirrels feel, and write an essay about it.

1995 (entrepreneurial math):
By laying off 402 of its lumberjacks, a company improves its stock price from $80 to $100. How much capital gain per share does the CEO make by exercising his stock options at $80? Assume capital gains are no longer taxed, because this encourages investment.

1998 (motivational math):
A logging company exports its wood-finishing jobs to its foreign subsidiary and lays off the corresponding half of its US workers (the higher-paid half). It clear-cuts 95% of the forest, leaving the rest for the spotted owl, and lays off all its remaining US workers. It tells the workers that the spotted owl is responsible for the absence of fellable trees and lobbies Congress for exemption from the Endangered Species Act. Congress instead exempts the company from all federal regulation. What is the return on investment of the lobbying?

A nurse is giving a new intern a tour of the hospital.

The intern approaches one bedridden patient and asks, “Why are you here?”

The patient replies, “Wee sleket cowerin’ timrous beastie/O, what a panic is in thy breastie.”

The intern moves on to the next bed and asks the same question.  

The patient answers, “O, my luve’s like a red, red, rose that’s newly sprung in June.”

At the third bed the intern asks again, “Why are you here?” 

The third patient replies, “The best laid plans of mice and men, may often gang awry.”

At this, the intern turns to the nurse and asks, “What ward is this anyway?”

The nurse answers, “It’s the Burns Unit.”

[Tilly Bud math]

 

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